The Grand Rapids Symphony Announces Assistant Conductor Position

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The Grand Rapids Symphony (GRS) Assistant Conductor is a full-time, benefits eligible position. The  Assistant Conductor reports administratively to the President & CEO and is artistically accountable to  the GRS Music Director. She/he/they will also work with the Vice President & General Manager and production operations team. This individual will be an energetic and dynamic musician who excels at connecting with musicians and projects a positive and engaging personality on and off the podium.

The Assistant Conductor is responsible for developing and conducting education concerts, serving as the cover conductor for rehearsals and concerts as determined by the Music Director. In addition, they will lead both the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra (GRYS and CO), and conduct other programs as assigned.  


  • Education Concerts:
    • Work with the Music Director, General Manager, and other key staff to plan and  conduct educational and community concerts. 
  • Cover Conductor:
    • Substitute in case of emergency for assigned rehearsals and concerts.
    • Assist the Music Director, Principal Pops Conductor, and guest conductors during  assigned rehearsals to provide feedback on artistic matters. 
  • Other conducting duties:
    • Develop and/or conduct community engagement concerts, Pops concerts, movies, and  off stage conducting as needed.
  • GRYS and CO
    • Lead rehearsals and concerts for both GRYS and CO
    • Select repertoire for season concerts of GRYS and CO in consultation with GRS Library  staff. Work with GRS Library to create and mark parts as needed.
    • Administer and adjudicate GRYS and CO
      • Entrance and chair placement auditions
      • Piano and instrumental concerto competitions 
    • Provide program information for publication
  • Media broadcast:
    • Work with the Music Director to assist recording engineer or other media entities in the  final editing of GRS performances for archival, broadcast, or commercial release. • Administrative: participates as assigned in GRS production team meetings and other activities as  determined and identified by GRS management
  • Speaking Engagements:
    • If so directed, participate in concert lectures or other speaking engagements.
  • Tours:
    • Accompany GRS on tours as required
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Undergraduate music degree or foreign equivalent strongly preferred
  • At least three years’ experience working with orchestras or youth orchestras required
  • Exceptional musicianship and conducting skills and knowledge of a broad range of repertoire
  • Strong interpersonal and communication (both verbal and written) skills with fluency in English required.  
  • GRS employees must be fully vaccinated: an individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) or one dose of a single-dose vaccination (Janssen aka Johnson & Johnson). 
  • In compliance with federal law, potential employees will be required to verify identity and  eligibility to work in the United States. The required employment eligibility verification  documentation will be required upon engagement. If applicable, the responsibility and cost of  obtaining such authorization is solely that of the candidate. 


The GRS understands that the Assistant Conductor may receive guest conducting opportunities with  other organizations and she/he/they will be allowed a reasonable amount of time-off for such engagements subject to the approval of the Music Director.  

To apply for this position, please send the following to Natalie Schwarting, Director of Administration  and Board Relations at by December 31, 2021.

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae 
  • Three sample programs (total) for: 
    • Classical Program
    • Pops Program
    • Education Program (including the age level of the audience and education objectives  the program seeks to communicate).
  • Conducting Video (see requirements)
    • Digital: either links to posted clips (e.g. website/YouTube) or access to a digitally  shared folder (e.g. Dropbox)
    • Footage from within the last five years
    • Three excerpts of no more than five minutes each
    • Front view of conductor
    • Contrasting styles
    • Rehearsal video footage (encouraged but not required) 

About the Grand Rapids Symphony and Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra 

Celebrating its 92nd season, the Grammy-nominated GRS is Michigan’s second largest performing arts  organization and has received national recognition for the high quality of its concerts as well as Gateway  to Music, a network of education, engagement, and access programs. In its 40-week season, which  includes subscription series of ten Classical main programs and six Pops weeks, the GRS presents more (cont’d on next page)

than 400 performances and enhances the lives of 200,000 attendees annually. Nearly half of those who  participate are students, senior citizens and people with disabilities reached through inclusive education  and access programs. The GRS has toured nationally, and has performed twice at Carnegie Hall, most  recently in 2018.  

For more information visit: 

The GRYS was established in 1959 to provide a way for West Michigan’s most talented young musicians  to rehearse and perform challenging orchestral music together, according to professional standards. The  group was formed by the Grand Rapids Symphony, a 501(c)(3) organization, which has administered it  since its inception. The CO was formed in 2000 to complement the GRYS. It focuses on music literature  for strings from the Classical period. The GRYS and CO perform three annual concerts. The GRYS completed its first European tour in the summer of 2016, performing in Vienna, Salzburg, and Prague. 

For more information visit: 

We are an equal opportunity employer.